One of my earliest memories of Sravanabelagola was of a huge – almost impossibly high idol. I also remember watching the Mahamashtakabhisheka on television and also how huge even the toes of the idol seemed against my puny self back then. Essentially, for most of my childhood, Sravanabelagola was the idolised version of Giant Robot. So when I had a chance to visit Sravanabelagola Jain temple again – and to refresh my childhood memories , I jumped at it. We had around 4 days of time and wanted to visit the temples of Belur, Halebidu and Chikmaglur, Baba Budangiri, Madikeri and Kushalnagar.
The beautiful and amazingly well preserved Sravanabelagola temple was our first stop. Being the largest town in the vicinity of Sravanabelagola, Belur and Halebid meant that Hassan was the obvious choice to set up base at. Have a look at our complete itinerary below:
Having visited a lot of Jain temples in Gujarat, Sravanabelagola Jain temple was especially interesting. Here are some more photographs from the visit to Sravanabelagola:
Like most Jain temples in Gujarat, the temple precinct housing the idol of Lord Gommateswara Bahubali was also surrounded on all sides by idols of 24 tirthankaras.
According to the Wikipedia:
The 57-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshvara is located on Vindyagiri Hill. It is considered to be the world’s largest monolithic stone statue. The base of the statue has an inscriptions in Kannada as well as the oldest evidence of written Marathi, i.e. Devnagari script, dating from 981 AD. The inscription praises the king who funded the effort and his general, Chavundaraya, who erected the statue for his mother. Every twelve years, thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a spectacular ceremony in which the statue is covered with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018.
Odegal basti is so called because of the stone props at its basement. It is the only Trikutachala – triple shrine temple at Shravanabelagola. Dateable to the 14th century, the temple is made of simple granite pillars. Odegal basti has been referred to as Trikuta Basadi in literary works.
Sravanabelagola has two major hillocks and temples on these – Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. I was surprised to learn that Chandragiri was inhabited since Chandragupta Maurya’s times. Here are some shots we took while roaming around on top of Vindhyagiri.